The Ali Forney Center, named after a homeless youth killed in 1997, has become an essential member of the New York community, as it provides medical services, food, shelter, counseling, housing and much more to at risk and homeless youths in the region.
The issue of homelessness among youth is a growing concern, especially since most shelter programs are designed to serve adults, heterosexual adults. Add young people, sometimes children, and queer to the environment and it isn't always a smooth mix.
This is what makes AFC a specialist operation, with over 77 beds for homeless youth in Brooklyn and Queens. So when news that their drop-in had been flooded and most of their equipment had been destroyed by Sandy, a shock wave resonated throughout the community.
Along with a influx of donations, fortunately, soon after the gay community center in Greenwich Village offered a helping hand. The center offered temporary space where AFC can do intake until their new Harlem location is ready for use possibly in 2013.
The New York Times City Room ran a story about the situation, which is worth a read.